07.09.2015 - UNESCO Havana/ Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

Caribbean Film Festivals – Potential platforms to strengthen the industry

A technical team composed of specialists from UNESCO Havana, the Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase of the Institute of Cinema Art and Industry (ICAIC), the New Latin American Cinema Foundation (FNCL), and the San Antonio de los Baños International Film and Television School (EICTV) have prepared a questionnaire to assess the potential of Caribbean film festivals as platforms for strengthening the film and audio visual industry in the region. Working as consultants in the technical team are Caribbean film specialist Anabel Fernández Santana and EICTV professor and expert in festival management, Patricia Martí.

The questionnaire is aimed at analysing the potential of the festivals as platforms for boosting the production and distribution of materials with a local content at the regional and international levels. The idea is for the Caribbean film industry to have the same visibility and reach the same markets as the Latin American cinema. The questionnaire has been sent to more than 30 festivals in the Caribbean insular and continental region, and it is hoped that they will all take part in this endeavour.

The results obtained through the questionnaire will serve not only to analyse the potential of the festivals, but to elaborate a capacity-building programme, based on the needs of each festival, in order to strengthen them as platforms that will contribute to the production and distribution of films and audio visuals made in the Caribbean. For this purpose, UNESCO is looking for funds to finance a five-day workshop, conducted by international experts, which will be held at the EICTV, in Cuba. Tentatively, the training will take place after the Havana International Film Festival.

In addition, the result of the questionnaire and the information gathered will serve as the basis for an issue of the specialised journal Culture & Development, published by the UNESCO Office in Havana. This special edition will contain articles by experts of the region and international festivals. It is hoped that it will be an effective means to raise awareness among governments and decision-makers concerning the industry’s potential for economic and human sustainable growth.

This action forms part of the UNESCO Havana regional programme Caribbean Cameras of Diversity. The project is an effective instrument for implementing the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

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